The Murder Room (by Michael Capuzzo) c. 2010

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In his second work, Capuzzo examines several members and a variety of cold cases of the illustrious Vidocq Society. Throughout the non-fiction work, Capuzzo focuses on the three prominent members of the society: Frank Bender, William Fleisher, and Richard Walter.

Bender, a forensic artist with a voracious sexual appetite, uses his slightly psychic intuition to create facial sculptures of crime victims. He also specializes in age progression.

Walter, a forensic psychologist, is world-renown as a criminal profiler. Fleisher is an FBI and US Customs agent, who sparked the idea for the club. Together, the three experts provide the background from which the stories branch.

All in all, this compilation of true crime anecdotes is both fascinating and harrowing. Though myself an avid purveyor of crime novels and forensic television shows, I was taken aback many times at the graphic content of the book, but nevertheless found myself fascinated and reading more.

APPEAL: Detailed, Bleak, Unique

If you liked The Murder Room, try:

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt – Engaging, Richly Detailed, Scenic

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote – Journalistic, Chilling, Bleak

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer – Engrossing, Disturbing, Thought-Provoking

Review by Carlen

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